MTK Fight Night in Bolton on March 12th: Crocker vs Ilbay

It’s set to be another evening of 50-50 fights when an action-packed #MTKFightNight returns to the University of Bolton Stadium on March 12.

The event will be broadcast in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank and worldwide on IFL TV, and includes the WBO European welterweight title fight between Lewis Crocker and Deniz Ilbay, and the clash between Gary Cully and Viktor Kotochigov for the vacant WBO European lightweight title.

Several of the superb fights on the undercard have now been confirmed, including a fantastic rescheduled battle at welterweight, as undefeated Sahir Iqbal (8-0, 1 KO) goes up against Liam Wells (7-1, 2 KOs).

Jordan Reynolds faces a tough test as he prepares to enter the paid ranks for the first, colliding with former Southern Area title challenger Robbie Chapman (6-6).

Highly-rated Adam Azim (1-0) is also back in action, with the teenage sensation looking to build on the impressive showing he produced in his professional debut back in December.

Featherweight contender Isaac Lowe, and fellow debutant Carl Fail are also in action, with opponents to be confirmed soon for Azim, Lowe and Fail.

MTK Global Promoter Lee Eaton said: “We’re pleased to be delivering another MTK Fight Night with 50-50 fights. We got excellent feedback from our opening show of the year last Friday, and we’re determined to keep providing competitive fights for the fans.

“It’s great to get the welterweight fight between Sahir Iqbal and Liam Wells back on, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Jordan Reynolds does in his debut against Robbie Chapman, who we have had on our shows recently against Ben Fail and Fearghus Quinn.

“Along with those two great fights, we’ve also got our two title fights, and Isaac Lowe, Adam Azim and Carl Fail, so it’s going to be a night to remember.”

Lewis Crocker has vowed that nobody will be taking his WBO European welterweight title away from him ahead of his showdown with Deniz Ilbay on the March 12th #MTKFightNight.

Unbeaten Crocker (12-0, 7 KOs) faces Ilbay (22-2, 10 KOs) at the University of Bolton Stadium next Friday, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.

It sees Crocker make the first defence of the belt that he superbly won by stopping Louis Greene last August, and he’s ready to kick on from there.

Crocker said: “I’m a champion now so it’s different. People want to take the belt from me. It’s taken me 12 fights to get that belt and I won’t be letting it go.

“The end goal is to win even bigger titles, and each fight is a stepping stone to get where I want to be. I’m progressing well enough, and getting right opponents at the right time.

“My gym went undefeated last year, so confidence in the group is high. Me and my trainer Dee Walsh are getting better and better with each camp as well, and it’s showing that the stuff we’re working on is coming off in the ring.

“It was class to be in the main event in my last fight, and to get a stoppage win as well. He was a big puncher and caught me with his best shots, but I walked through them like it was nothing. It’s helped to build me up and it makes me a better fighter each time I box.”

Deniz Ilbay: I’m going to deliver fireworks!

Deniz Ilbay plans on marking his first fight in the UK with a title-winning display when he faces Lewis Crocker on the action-packed March 12th #MTKFightNight.

Ilbay (22-2, 10 KOs) challenges unbeaten Crocker (12-0, 7 KOs) for his WBO European welterweight title at the University of Bolton Stadium next Friday, live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.

Germany’s Ilbay has won a number of belts during his career, and also went the distance with former world title challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas back in 2016, and he’s warned Crocker to expect a fiery encounter.

Ilbay said: “I’m excited to be standing in the ring again and to be able to deliver fireworks. In the past year I have become stronger and improved on a lot of things. I’m so excited to fight in front of such a huge audience, even if they are only behind their TVs.

“We have had a lot of great sparring with fighters of the highest level. I had a lot of fight cancellations in 2020 due to COVID, but I stayed in fight mode because I knew it will pay off one day, and now it has.

“I will be pleased once I’m sitting on the airplane on the way back from the UK to Germany, because that means the fight did happen and I will be the WBO European welterweight champion. Winning that title is all I want right now, that’s my main focus.”

Lewis Crocker vs Deniz Ilbay

Bolton will now play host to two highly-anticipated title fights taking place on March 12 – as Lewis Crocker defends his WBO European welterweight title against Deniz Ilbay, and Gary Cully meets Viktor Kotochigov for the vacant WBO European lightweight title.

The fights will be part of an action-packed #MTKFightNight next month, which will also feature featherweight contender Isaac Lowe, undefeated welterweight talent Sahir Iqbal, and amateur sensation Jordan Reynolds making his professional debut.

The event take places at the University of Bolton Stadium, and will be broadcast live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on IFL TV.

Crocker (12-0, 7 KOs) is making the first defence of the belt that he superbly won by stopping Louis Greene last August. He now goes up against Ilbay (22-2, 10 KOs), who has never been stopped in 24 professional fights.

Cully (11-0, 5 KOs) is back after two impressive wins in 2020, looking to add another belt to his collection when he meets former WBC International champion Kotochigov (12-1, 5 KOs).

Lowe (20-0-3, 6 KOs) fights in the UK for the first time in two years after three straight wins in the USA, while fellow undefeated star Iqbal (8-0, 1 KO) gets the chance to fight in his hometown of Bolton.

The card will also see the long-awaited professional debut of Reynolds, who will look to replicate the superb performances he displayed in the amateur ranks.

MTK Global Promoter Lee Eaton said: “These two title fights are both very intriguing match-ups, and will show us just what Lewis Crocker and Gary Cully are capable of by facing very dangerous opponents.

“On the undercard we have Isaac Lowe and Sahir Iqbal both returning, and highly-rated Jordan Reynolds makes his debut. We’ll be announcing even more for the card soon and it’s going to be another must-see event.

“We’re really proud of our current schedule of UK shows, as they’re full of 50-50 fights up and down all of the cards, so we’re delighted to be giving boxing fans the fights they want to see.”

The event on March 12 continues a fantastic run of MTK Fight Night shows taking place in the UK, which kicks off this Friday with three tremendous championship contests, including Sean McComb facing Gavin Gwynne for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title, Darren Tetley and Samuel Antwi meeting for the vacant English welterweight title, and DP Carr defending his Southern Area super-featherweight title against Dean Dodge.

Elsewhere on the huge #MTKFightNight on March 12, Gary Cully squares off with Viktor Kotochigov for the vacant WBO European lightweight title, Isaac Lowe returns, Sahir Iqbal faces Liam Wells, Jordan Reynolds makes his professional debut against Robbie Chapman, Adam Azim is back in action, plus Carl Fail enters the paid ranks for the first time too.

It kicks off a huge 7 days, as on March 19, a massive #MTKFightNight takes place, as Lee McGregor challenges Karim Guerfi for his European bantamweight title, and Maxi Hughes meets Paul Hyland Jnr for the vacant British lightweight title.

The event on March 19 also sees Padraig McCrory face Germaine Brown in a clash of unbeaten super-middleweights, Shabaz Masoud goes up against Louis Norman, Jamie Robinson fights Billy Allington, Paul Ryan makes his professional debut against Kyle Hughes, and William Hamilton returns.